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Violent Video Game Players Feel Need to Cleanse, Study Shows
|Friday, July 20, 2012 | ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES|
The researchers had 76 people play violent video games for 15 minutes, after which they were told to select gift items for others. Those who were "inexperienced" with violent video games were more likely to select "hygienic products" like shower gel, deodorant, and toothpaste than those who played violent video games on a regular basis.
The "Macbeth effect" is named after a scene from the play by Shakespeare in which Lady Macbeth suffers from guilt after a dream about her involvement in the bloody murder of the king. She obsessively washes her hands throughout the play.
Violent video games have been blamed for school shootings, increases in bullying, and violence towards women. Critics argue that these games desensitize players to violence, reward players for simulating violence, and teach children that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflicts.
Video game advocates contend that a majority of the research on the topic is deeply flawed and that no causal relationship has been found between video games and social violence. They argue that violent video games may reduce violence by serving as a substitute for rough and tumble play and by providing a safe outlet for aggressive and angry feelings.
Dr. Melzer plans to present his research findings at the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) World Meeting 2012 at the University of Luxembourg and publish his work in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Andy Chalk, "Violent Videogames Cause 'Macbeth Effect'," escapistmagazine.com, July 12, 2012